side lying clams

By Catherine CHUA Bee Hong Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Elizabeth CHAN Jiahui Principal Physiotherapist, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Exercising during pregnancy comes with many benefits, including promoting muscle strength and endurance to meet the physical demands of pregnancy. It can also help control your blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise programmes. Ensure you avoid hot conditions, keep hydrated, and wear comfortable attire while exercising.

If you haven't been exercising regularly before pregnancy, start with an easy 15 minutes of activity a day. Then gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.

Side-lying clams help to strengthen your abdominal, core and buttock muscles. The core muscles are important in helping to support your posture throughout pregnancy so as to prevent back pain.

Here are the steps for the side-lying clams exercise:

Lie on your side and support your head with one hand. Keep your knees bent and tighten your tummy muscles. Slowly raise your top knee by a few inches and lower it slowly. Do this 10 times, then lie on your other side and repeat 10 times.

Do not roll your pelvis forward or backward, keep your back straight and do not hold your breath as you do this exercise.

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Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore